Author: Sherry Thomas
Series: The Elemental Trilogy, #1
Prince Titus has been waiting his entire life for a sign. In order to overthrow the ruthless Bane, Titus must find the prophesied elemental mage who alone has the power to defeat the tyrannical leader. Iolanthe Seabourne struggles to keep her guardian’s madness a secret. In an effort to improve his reputation, Iolanthe agrees to perform her talent for the element of fire at a local wedding. This sets off a series of events that leads her to Prince Titus, but Iolanthe cannot fathom how she can be part of any prophesy and Titus is faced with the task of convincing her to help him.
Sherry Thomas’ The Burning Sky is sluggish at times. Most of the book is spent in a rather uneventful way with Iolanthe in disguise as Archer Fairfax, cocky schoolboy and friend to Prince Titus. She spends her days playing pretend or in a simulated world training. The lack of an imminent threat makes the book seem rather lethargic and deprives the reader of any real thrill.
“I’m not this brave soul you think I am. I came with you because you offered sanctuary. I don’t have what it takes to shoulder what you ask.”
With regard to the romance, I have a couple of grievances. I wasn’t sure Titus’s interest in Iolanthe was entirely sincere or simply a result of a very lonely boy finally able to share his secrets with another person, and because she happened to be a girl then it must be love. Something similar can be said of Iolanthe’s feelings. At first she despises Titus for manipulating her, but as soon as she feels a kernel of sympathy for him it blooms a little too quickly into something more.
I thought the author spent too much time focused on her two main characters, neglecting the larger picture as a result. Bane, the mage the two of them are meant to fight is hardly discussed in detail before his arrival. The only time we’re privy to his supposed atrocities is when Titus is given an opportunity to see his prisoners. It is dangerous for Iolanthe’s identity to be discovered, but without exploring Bane’s menacing rule I found it hard to feel the extent of said danger.
The Burning Sky wasn’t a bad book, but it was difficult to disappear inside of it. My mind found it impossible to reconcile the world the two characters came from the London they spent most of their time in. I didn’t understand the relationship between the two worlds or how they affected one another. This ambiguous connection left me feeling discombobulated.